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Liberal soccer blanks GBHS

POSTED April 12, 2018 11:11 p.m.

Liberal High’s girls soccer team didn’t perform like they were the last-place team in the Western Athletic Conference.
They aren’t anymore.
After shutting out Great Bend 3-0 Thursday at the Memorial Stadium turf, the Redskins drop the Panthers into last place. Liberal (2-6-1, 1-2-1 WAC) earns its first WAC victory. Great Bend (3-3, 1-3 WAC) has lost both league home games.
The Panthers had no defensive answers for Liberal’s stylish Kimberly Alarcon, who sped through the defense like a whirling top. She directed perfect touch pass after perfect touch pass to keep the Panthers’ defense on the run. Alarcon scored the Redskins’ two second-half goals and drilled the post on another quality attempt. The turf was well suited for Alarcon’s quickness and craftiness.
“She’s one of those players who’s in great condition who keeps attacking,” said Great Bend coach Margarita Ayala. “Liberal kept passing the ball through 23 (Alarcon). She was really good.”
Alarcon’s second goal at the 33:10 mark of the second half was assisted by teammate Gisselle Melendez, who chased the ball and kept it in play. Alarcon’s second goal was played perfectly past goalie Ellie Anspaugh at the 15:57 mark in the second half.
Liberal created its first goal off a corner kick triggered by Alondra Alvarado. Bryanna Banuelos chipped the ball past goalie Anspaugh when the Panthers were unable to clear the ball from the goal at the 27:20 mark of the first half.
Great Bend forwards Yasmin Rodriguez and Citlali Sanchez, who also play junior varsity minutes, helped keep the game scoreless for 13 minutes in the first half with solid first-half minutes. They played well enough to earn more varsity minutes.
“Yasmin and Citlali have really showed improvement. They’ve helped us and will play more on the varsity,” Ayala said.
Joanna Sanchez sparked the Panthers’ offense with several accurate throw-ins. Time-after-time, Sanchez would help the Panthers gain valuable field position. She also played a key role on the Panthers’ defense.
Midfielders Mayra Ramirez and Alondra Espino created the Panthers’ best opportunities, but goalie Evelyn Rios was up to the challenge.
“We’re still developing on offense,” Ayala said. “We’ve got good experience on defense. We’re still working on the offensive side.”
The Panthers journey to Garden City April 17 and return home April 19 against Hays-Thomas More Prep.

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